A Visual History of Home Audio From 1840-2013

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Can you remember the first audio device you could call your very own? Mine was a small portable RCA turntable which I'd religiously turn on to listen to my trilogy of Star Wars books on record, then later to head bang to my first LP (Quiet Riot's Mental Health, oh yeah!). I quickly moved onto a Sony boombox and Walkman in the era of the audio cassette, and by my teens a portable CD player...

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It's fun thinking back to an era when listening to music was still a partially mechanical-electronic affair...where everyone practiced their "Play+Record" dexterity to curate their own mix tapes recorded off the radio or cassettes/records (and don't forget, half the fun was designing and embellishing the covers). And even back when we had piles of CDs, all which we'd hopelessly try to protect from scratches while arguing the merits of anti-skip buffering technology and resorting to ridiculous (yet sometimes) effective CD repair solutions, we still retained a physical relationship with our music. Now besides a small collection of vinyl, everything I listen to is stored digitally or streamed from somewhere in the digital abyss.

That makes The Advance of Audio Apparatuses from Pop Chart Lab all that much more fun to look across, both for its memory lane sentimentality, and also as a visual historic reference in a time when music players have quickly been folded into other smart devices in a conceptual cloud of 1's and 0's. To see these audio devices all together reminds us "the beat goes on".

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The Advance of Audio Apparatuses print is available framed and unframed, starting at $32.00.

(Image credits: Pop Chart Lab; Pop Chart Labs)